Engineering Certifications

Discussion in 'A+ Certification' started by Harsha Raghavan, Jun 2, 2004.

  1. Harsha Raghavan

    Bernie Guest

    If you hadn't taken the gloves off first, you'd have a point. See:

    And your obviously patronizing tone here:
    And for the record, I made no personal attacks. I responded to your
    own tone and tenor with a similar tone and tenor. If you cant take
    the heat, perhaps you should get out of the kitchen. You not being
    able to come up with a valid alternative to the word "engineer" other
    than "tech" is a public display of ignorance. There is no other word
    for that, unless you want me to falsely substitute "brilliant point"
    instead...sort of like you want to do with the word "engineer" for
    other more appropriate titles. So if you want to take me pointing out
    ignorance for what it is as a personal attack, then so be it.

    And educated adults also don't try to prove a general point with a
    single example like the Carmack one. Since your education didn't
    include logic 101, I can assume that the reason for you making it
    personal first was because you are uneducated (according to your
    premise below).

    Huh? You are the one that first started with the patronizing, so if
    you are so thin skinned that you can't handle having your ludicrous
    points be called (correctly I might add) ignorant, then so be it.
    And you the pointy haired boss...
    Figures. Code for "my point was so ludicrous and indefensible that I
    had to pretend to be insulted to find a way out of the discussion
    while looking like I took the high road."
    Those who live in glass houses....

    Bernie, Jun 7, 2004
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  2. Harsha Raghavan

    Bernie Guest

    I am sure you will. People that have nothing to brag about usually
    resort to coat-tail riding on the backs of others.
    I hope you can sleep well knowing I draw great salary and benefits
    too, but more importantly that I am right on this issue. ;-)

    [Now who is the child if you think saying you make good money is a jab
    at someone else, lol. Time to come up with a better line than that if
    you don't want to look like a fool.]

    Bernie, Jun 7, 2004
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  3. Harsha Raghavan

    Bernie Guest

    And conversely, your education should lead you to realize that your
    experience does not define the value either. To the pointy haired
    boss who can't discern the difference between two people claiming
    skills, using a vendor cert like the CCIE becomes a valuable crutch.
    But not all bosses are pointy hairs either, and even some pointy
    haired bosses have been bitten by hiring a lab rat CCIE once or twice.

    Hansang isn't making a point that isn't supported by every CCIE who
    has come through this group. Ask Nrf, for example, how valuable the
    CCIE is today compared to yesterday.

    Bernie, Jun 7, 2004
  4. He's a computer programmer/software developer. "Software Engineering" is
    one of those politically correct terms that rose out of a need to
    artificially inflate the value of certain professions in the mid-90's.
    There are other examples that are even more absurd, such as Custodial
    Engineer (janitor), and Sanitation Engineer (garbage). Now before somebody
    jumps on me, I think it's only fair to point out that I'm currently a
    computer science major. I think computer science/programming is enough of a
    respectable enough field that it doesn't need to be artificially inflated.

    To each their own, but I will always laugh at people who needlessly attach
    "engineer" to the end of their job title to try and make themselves out to
    be something they're not.
    Patrick Michael, Jun 7, 2004
  5. Harsha Raghavan

    Bernie Guest

    I disagree with you and, dare I say, agree with ec on this one small
    point. Maybe that is the history of the term software engineer and
    yes most programmers wrongfully adopt the title. But it is a true
    title and it is warranted by many.

    Consider that the Department of Labor defined Computer Software
    Engineer and Computer Programmer differently. The difference is very
    intuitive to most people (excepting someone like ec who seems to think
    "engineer" simply means expert tech in their chosen field or something
    absurd like that). Part of the DoL's description of Computer Software
    Engineer is pasted below:

    "Computer software engineers apply the principles and techniques of
    computer science, engineering, and mathematical analysis to the
    design, development, testing, and evaluation of the software and
    systems that enable computers to perform their many applications.
    .....Software engineers must possess strong programming skills, but are
    more concerned with developing algorithms and analyzing and solving
    programming problems than with actually writing code."

    Programmer is described by the DoL like this:
    "Computer programmers write, test, and maintain the detailed
    instructions, called programs, that computers must follow to perform
    their functions. .....Job titles and descriptions may vary, depending
    on the organization. In this occupational statement, computer
    programmer refers to individuals whose main job function is
    programming; this group has a wide range of responsibilities and
    educational backgrounds."

    So you can easily see the difference though in some respects the
    difference is subtle. As an example Koblitz and Miller are credited
    with Elliptic Curve Cryptography. I don't think anyone would have a
    problem terming them Software Engineers give all the above. I can
    also see how Carmack would also be applying engineering to writing
    software that models real environments on a computer. You really
    can't do that without getting into the detailed physics principles of
    optics and electromagnetic radiation, can you?

    However, you are quite correct that so many who are really just
    programmers are stealing the title and calling themselves software
    Yes it is. But as I pointed out above, Computer Software Engineering
    is also a valid field that is slightly different from just plain old
    programming. In fact, you can see many universities offering degrees
    in software engineering.

    You can't on the other hand find degree programs for Systems
    Engineering or Network Engineering. Now why would that be? I
    wonder.... If those jobs are science and math based *surely* there
    would be need for some advanced education in science/math for those
    subjects. Surely vendor certs are testing on those subject as well if
    universities aren't offering the training? Oh they aren't you say?
    Well, that speaks for itself then.
    Exactly. The practice won't go away though. Ec is a tribute to the
    mindset that generates this problem. As long as people are simply
    trying to justify higher consultant fees, there will be people
    wrongfully adopting titles they have no business adopting. Of course
    such people should at least have enough honesty and integrity to admit
    what they are doing when the subject comes up. Trying to justify it
    posthumously with circular arguments and using examples from other
    valid engineering disciplines just makes one look silly.

    Bernie, Jun 7, 2004
  6. Yea, I should have clarified that better. I was more or less directing my
    comments toward people who refer to themselves as "software engineers", when
    they're really just plain old programmers/developers. From what I
    understand of software engineering, it's a subset of programming that deals
    specifically with making sure programs run as efficiently and as precise as
    possible. In that sense, it's definitely engineering...however, using
    "software engineer" as a synonym for "computer programmer" is often a

    Thanks for the correction.
    Patrick Michael, Jun 7, 2004
  7. Harsha Raghavan

    ec Guest

    Based on what you "understand of software engineering", John Carmack is MOST
    DEFINITELY a software engineer. He is not involoved in the development or
    programming of his game. He specifically creates the 3D engine ( insane
    amounts of mathematics ), then makes these render 3D as efficiently and as
    precisely as possible across a broad range of 3D hardware. He has no degree,
    and is not registered in any state. He is, however, a software engineer.
    ec, Jun 7, 2004
  8. Harsha Raghavan

    ec Guest

    "excepting someone like ec who seems to think
    "engineer" simply means expert tech in their chosen field or something
    absurd like that"

    Actually thats not what I think, and if you passed reading comprehension in
    grade school ( gotta throw some of your jabs back at you ) you'd see very
    clearly that I define an "engineer" as someone who performs tasks in a role
    that meet the definition of the word itself in the dictionary. Degree or no
    degree is meaningless. What the person actually DOES is what makes them an
    engineer. The word "engineer" and its definition came before the degree. You
    mentioned law in your previous posts. I wonder if you are aware you are not
    required to have a JD to take the BAR and become certified as an attorney in
    any state? Becoming a lawyer actually does not require an education at all.
    Granted, the average citizen, who isn't very intelligent, will definitely
    need a professor to hold their hand and teach them, but that's besides the
    point. There are Electrical Engineers, Software Engineers, Network
    Engineers, and many other such titles out there. The field that uses the
    title is what sets the conditions for what rates the title. Not you, Bernie.
    ec, Jun 7, 2004
  9. Harsha Raghavan

    Bernie Guest

    You might have a point if you hadn't illustrated a clear inability to
    read yourself with this previous response:
    (Note, I couldn't possibly have been talking about the CCIE since E
    stands for Expert, not Engineer. Someone who read carefully would
    have noted that.)

    And on that note, you also posted and referenced the rates you charge
    in connection with the use of the term engineer. You also made the
    relative argument that a desktop tech is not an engineer but just a
    tech (which now that you bring it up is also a job that borrows the
    title "engineer" which apparently you do disagree with, so it looks
    like on one hand you do agree to some degree with my assessment). So
    given those points you clearly made, is it so much of a stretch to
    draw that conclusion? No.
    And as you so aptly point out, you aren't the one who gets to make the
    call on the definition of the word engineer. The word engineer (noun)
    is defined quite clearly by Webster as someone who is trained in a
    branch of engineering. So then the question becomes "what is a branch
    of engineering?" Well, again, you aren't the one who gets to make
    that call are you? The consensus is quite clear on what branches are
    valid branches of engineering. Universities, state agencies, and
    Department of Labor are fairly well in agreement that "network
    engineering" and systems engineering" are not branches of engineering.

    What you have also failed to notice from the dictionary is that there
    is a subtle difference between the verb and noun form of engineer,
    such that even someone who practices a bit of "engineering" from time
    to time is not necessarily an engineer. Since we are talking about
    the title engineer, which BTW, is a noun in that context, I am more
    concerned with the definition of the noun, which clearly indicates
    that engineers are people trained in a branch of engineering. That
    doesn't therefore open the floodgates to anyone who wants to claim
    they use a *bit* of science and math in their daily job.
    Never said it was.
    And you haven't established at all that what a typical "network
    engineer" does in his daily job is an engineering discipline. Using a
    circular argument that depends on a previous acceptance and/or
    validation of the title itself is not a valid argument. How can you
    consider nuclear engineering and network engineering to both be
    engineering disciplines of the same caliber? One obviously invokes
    lots of science and mathematical principles with the rare exception
    when it doesn't. The other does not, except with the rare exception
    when it does.
    Yes, I never disagreed with that. But that has nothing to do with the
    subject. Cheapening the term lawyer by other professions stealing it
    would apply on the other hand. And surely you are contradicting
    yourself here as well. Surely you are aware that the term lawyer also
    existed before there was a Bar. Given that I would have expected you
    to argue that lawyer has nothing to do with the Bar since the term
    preceded the Bar. But no, of course not. There isn't a thread of
    consistency in your point of view. On one hand you argue that
    engineer has nothing to do with any state board or degree because it
    supposedly preceded both. On the other hand you argue that the title
    lawyer is immutably tied with a form of certification that occurred
    later than the advent of the term. Which is it? You can't argue it
    both ways.
    Wrongo. Given that little bit of logic, any field can choose to adopt
    titles such as sanitation doctor, custodial lawyer, automobile
    physician, and then turn around and say that because we can do that it
    is therefore legitimate. Silly little premise. The wider community
    has a little bit to say about what a real engineering discipline is.
    You and your company can choose to steal the title, but that does not
    legitimize it. Possession is not 9/10s of the law in this case. If
    it were a valid engineering discipline, you can bet the DoL would list
    is as such, and that universities would offer degree programs in
    network engineering. There isn't some mysterious conspiracy going on
    when they occlude network/systems engineering as an engineering
    And certainly not you either. The difference is that I am in good
    company with my statements, you are not. So the burden of proof lies
    with you, not me.

    Bernie, Jun 7, 2004
  10. Harsha Raghavan

    Bernie Guest

    I should clarify before you sidetrack this down another irrelevant
    rabbit trail, that it could also be the practicing of a branch of
    engineering. That isn't an important distinction here because you
    still have to show that we are talking about a real branch of
    engineering, but like I said, I am trying to keep from going down this
    irrelevant side track about whether degree or practice makes an
    engineer. The rest still applies.
    (Or practices...)

    Bernie, Jun 8, 2004
  11. Uhm..I still don't know that I'd consider that to be "software engineering."
    If he's creating the 3D engine, then he's writing the code and such, which
    is much more related to development/programming. If his specific job was to
    come back and make the engine as efficient as possible after the code was
    written, then he would be a "software engineer." If you look at Bernie's
    original definition: "Software engineers must possess strong programming
    skills, but are more concerned with developing algorithms and analyzing and
    solving programming problems than with actually writing code"

    It's a slippery slope, but I'm guessing his primary responsibility is
    writing the code and developing the engine rather than making it as
    efficient as possible. That might be part of his job, and I'm almost sure
    that it is, but there are probably scores of other people who specialize in
    making the engine as efficient as possible.
    Patrick Michael, Jun 8, 2004
  12. Harsha Raghavan

    ec Guest

    That's exactly what he does.
    Nope =) Read up on him sometime. He is the one who tunes the completed
    engine. ( which he also coded and developed ). He has patents on on several
    3D algorithms, as a matter of fact. He isn't a run of the mill guy
    ec, Jun 8, 2004
  13. Harsha Raghavan

    Bernie Guest

    To be fair, it may or may not be. A software engineer could define
    the entire application including algorithms etc, and then turn around
    and write the code as well just because he likes to or because he
    doesn't trust another junior programmer to "do it right." I would be
    inclined to agree that he is a software engineer for all intents and

    I also don't think that the explanation is so rigid in form that it is
    completely exclusive to anything but optimizing code.

    In the end we could all argue ad infinitum about what he exactly does
    in his day to day job. In the end we would all be speculating to some
    degree or another.

    I do find it interesting that ec points out the amount of mathematics
    involved as justification for the title. Yet "network engineering"
    does not involve anything near that. I written quite a few documents
    on the topic of engineering for "architects" and other network
    designers. I've modeled a number of things using statistics and
    numerical analysis. (If anyone could, I could argue myself to be a
    real engineer, but I don't because I know the difference) In the end,
    I strip out most the mathematics because I know my audience. They
    want rules of thumb, not equations. Even the "architects" generally
    don't want equations to crunch numbers. Maybe a couple do, but I have
    found that a quick way to make a document that will be ignored (except
    by the elite few with the proper educational background) in this field
    is to include lots of equations and suggest that anything beyond
    simple geometry and/or algebra is necessary to perform a network
    design. Take out the math and put in rules of thumb instead and the
    general "network engineering" community reads it like crazy.

    Bernie, Jun 8, 2004
  14. Is machine code and/or assembly level used much these days?

    Tom MacIntyre, Jun 8, 2004
  15. Harsha Raghavan

    Sunny Cheung Guest

    I agree. Calling someone an Engineer who is not formally qualified (in that
    I mean by successfully graduating from a recognised tertiary institution
    with a B.E or equivalent as deemed so by IEAust) is a total sham to the

    Everyone would get upset if "alternative medicine practioners" suddenly
    called themselves "doctors", so whats the difference with those getting
    MSCE's and calling themselves "Engineers"? I think its time regulatory
    bodies impose strict guidlines on how organisations can use titles.

    What really gets my goat is sparkies calling themselves Electrical
    Sunny Cheung, Jun 16, 2004
  16. Harsha Raghavan

    Bernie Guest

    But you are sidestepping the question posed. An alternative medicine
    practitioner does not (necessarily) have any doctoral degree in
    medicine or any other field. So is it or is it not correct for them
    to pose as "doctors" and call themselves such? After all, if you
    underwent surgery from a quack/fake who called himself a "doctor" just
    to wake up with a limb amputated by mistake, you probably wouldn't sue
    him for false representation--hey, he is free to *use* the title if he
    wants to. If he told you, "Hey, I never said I had a degree from med
    school, I just like the title because it sounds catchy...BTW, sorry
    about your arm," I suppose that would be a satisfactory answer. Or is
    Actually, the title as defined by dictionaries means you are either
    trained in a branch of engineering or you are practicing a branch of
    engineering. Garbage collecting is, by the way, not a branch of
    engineering, so that use of the title is technically invalid, just as
    redefining words to suit some personal agenda is invalid.
    Actually it does. It doesn't give you a state board certification as
    a PE, but it is still proper to call a person with a degree in
    engineering an engineer. Now if they are five years out of practice,
    it starts becoming a gray area I suppose. But instead of dealing with
    odd corner cases, lets stick to the main issue.

    Bernie, Jun 18, 2004
  17. Harsha Raghavan

    Bernie Guest

    Neither do I.
    Actually that is not technically true. There are a number of looser
    definitions of the word that don't include a degree. Having a degree
    as a doctor is just one criterion under which it is valid to use the
    It isn't just civil engineering that is protected. Just about any
    engineering branch is protected in the same way. So what is so
    special about civil engineering that doesn't apply to nuclear

    The point is that there is the degree that you get from studying one
    of the legitimate branches of engineering. If you are going to
    "engineer" on public systems, like highways, nuclear plants, etc., you
    then have to take the extra step of becoming a PE.

    This is fairly well explained by the Department of Labor in their
    Occupational Handbook:
    "All 50 States and the District of Columbia require licensure for
    engineers who offer their services directly to the public. Engineers
    who are licensed are called Professional Engineers (PE). This
    licensure generally requires a degree from an ABET-accredited
    engineering program, 4 years of relevant work experience, and
    successful completion of a State examination. "

    So are all of these not protected titles then? Of course. It isn't
    just "civil engineering". Of course someone could still technically
    be a civil engineer without becoming a PE. It is implicit in the
    description. Finding a project to work on might be difficult, but that
    is beside the point.
    Semantics. It doesn't float. Every dictionary I have found defines
    an engineer as this:
    3 a : a designer or builder of engines b : a person who is trained in
    or follows as a profession a branch of engineering c : a person who
    carries through an enterprise by skillful or artful contrivance

    Engineering is further defined as:
    2 a : the application of science and mathematics by which the
    properties of matter and the sources of energy in nature are made
    useful to people b : the design and manufacture of complex products
    <software engineering>

    The DoL has a long write-up about what an "engineer" is in more
    detailed terms:
    "Engineers apply the theories and principles of science and
    mathematics to research and develop economical solutions to technical
    problems.....Engineers design products, machinery to build those
    products, plants in which those products are made, and the systems
    that ensure the quality of the products and the efficiency of the
    workforce and manufacturing process....."

    So maybe there is nothing illegal about saying I am an engineer of
    basket weaving, but it is definitely not consistent with *ANY*
    official resource concerning the proper use of the word "engineer".
    Likewise, there is nothing illegal about me re-defining the word "is",
    but me doing so doesn't officially change the real meaning that
    everyone else applies to the term. Not all things that are wrong are
    illegal. I am not arguing legality, rather what is right or wrong,
    what the meaning is or is not.

    So I ask you, who is correct? You? Or Webster, the DoL, and every
    university that offers degrees in branches of engineering? I think
    I'll choose to go with the traditional interpretation of the word
    engineer, not the dotcom interpretation of the word by which overnight
    everyone and their dog became an "engineer" in job title only.
    That is semantics again. I have never seen a person use just the job
    title "Engineer". It is always combined with Network, Systems,
    Custodial, etc. Those are either legitimate branches of engineering
    where science and math is applied to problems, or they are not. The
    descriptions from Webster, DoL, et al, about the simple term
    "engineer" are correct or they are not.
    But that is what this thread is about, is it not? If the point is
    simply that garbage collectors use the term, then yes we all agree,
    they do use it, case closed.
    It has become common in many places. It doesn't make it proper
    I don't suppose if they said, "Yes, that is my job title" it would be
    ok, would it?
    Yes we agree. That wasn't the point though. The term Engineer was
    once revered too. In some cases, companies have been forced to remove
    the title from their workers by pressure from state boards. This
    happened to MS. Engineer may not carry as much weight as doctor, but
    it is a slippery slope when you start allowing reserved titles to be
    used by people who shouldn't be using them. There really isn't
    anything stopping someone from using the title "doctor" as a job
    title, as opposed to implying that they are degreed as a doctor. What
    are you going to do when that alternative medical practitioner starts
    applying this definition of the word:
    2 b : MEDICINE MAN

    Technically they could I suppose. Now it sounds like you would agree
    that this is false representation. It would also be false
    representation if that Doctor of Technology practiced medicine simply
    as "Dr. so-n-so." He could say, "Hey, that's just a job title, you
    didn't ask to see my diploma before I operated on you, did you?" If
    you want to twist words concerning "engineer", then you have to allow
    the same games to be played with other words like "doctor." You can't
    craft a consistent POV otherwise.

    Technically the same thing could happen to the word doctor. It is
    only the integrity of the larger workforce that keeps the title
    protected and revered the way it is today. But there is nothing
    legally stopping you or I from cheapening the title the way "engineer"
    has been cheapened through improper use.

    Bernie, Jun 18, 2004
  18. ???

    You find the word Engineer within the word Engineering in the degree.

    Tom MacIntyre, Jun 18, 2004
  19. Harsha Raghavan

    Bernie Guest

    Actually, you are the one playing semantic games if you try to
    separate out the word engineer from reality.
    Who is sick? I'm not trained as an engineer, so I certainly can't be
    sick over this issue. Maybe you are the one sick with engineer-envy?
    So can we dispense with the ad hominem implications now? Surely you
    aren't falling back to this position after getting spanked with basic
    English 101 and occupational definitions?
    The answer is because teacher is not defined as such:
    1 : one that teaches; especially : one whose occupation is to instruct

    There is no provision for calling someone a "teacher" who is trained
    as a teacher but who doesn't teach. However, the definition of an
    engineer does. So unless you are claiming to know more about the
    meaning of the noun "Engineer" than Webster, I think you need to let
    it rest.
    Are you clueless? An engineer is: 3 b : a person who is trained in or
    follows as a profession a branch of engineering.

    For anyone who speaks the English language, that is quite literally
    taken to mean someone who is trained in a branch of engineering (i.e.
    someone who has a degree in xyz engineering, is certainly trained in a
    branch of engineering are they not?) can be called an "Engineer."
    Alternatively someone whose occupation follows a branch of engineering
    is an engineer. Logic 101 should and a basic sentence diagram should
    clear up the meaning of "or" in that definition. Now either you think
    you are a higher authority than Webster or you don't. Please tell us
    which it is.
    It doesn't have to, for reasons any reasonable person can see. The
    literal word "Mathemetician" is not on my degree either, yet I can
    call my self such if I am ": a specialist or expert in mathematics".
    If completing a degree summa cum laude in mathematics doesn't make me
    an expert relative to the vast majority of humanity, I don't know what
    does. BTW, I don't refer to myself that way, but even a doctoral
    degree in mathematics doesn't have the word "mathematician" on it,
    does it? So your point holds no water.
    Uhhh. Are you really that obtuse, or do you just pretend to be as a
    party gag on Usenet?
    is AN...ENGINEER (n.). It is no more simple than that.

    The *only* argument you could possibly make other than a claim that
    Webster is wrong (which is assinine), is to claim that a degree in a
    branch of engineering does not constitute training in a branch of
    engineer (and I know you won't make that assinine argument either).

    So pray tell, how do you not understand the connection between the
    noun "engineer" and "training in a branch of engineering"? Webster
    and the DoL do not leave any room for you to wiggle out of that.
    ....except in dictionaries, common usage, ad nauseam....basically
    everywhere but in your mind.
    Legally so is "doctor." Your point? Both have definitions. The
    definition defines the usage, not you AT. I'm not the one saying that
    my personal usage is correct. I am appealing to authorities on the
    subject. You have yet to produce any authoritative resource that
    backs your POV. So before you blather on about how you are right, try
    bringing some evidence next time.
    Huh? So you are saying that if I make $x per year, I am now an
    engineer, but if I do the same job and get paid less, I am a tech???
    That is bizarre. No where do you find in *ANY* resource, and I mean
    ANY, a tie between salary and "engineer". You claim I am making leaps
    in logic when all I am doing is referring to clear connections made by
    the DoL and Webster, and yet you make the most bizarre leap in logic
    by claiming there is a connection between salary and engineer. Here
    is a tip: using a resource other than yourself, try establish that

    I'll repost the DoL's information on the job title Engineer for you
    once again, and I will keep posting it until you at last read it. As
    _an occupation_, this is what an "engineer" is and does:
    "Engineers apply the theories and principles of science and
    mathematics to research and develop economical solutions to technical
    problems.....Engineers design products, machinery to build those
    products, plants in which those products are made, and the systems
    that ensure the quality of the products and the efficiency of the
    workforce and manufacturing process....."

    Nope, no mention of "Makes more than a senior tech" there....
    Oh, so are Webster and the DoL also sick? Nice little knock. Next
    time instead of trying to accuse people of being sick, try launching a
    coherent agrement.

    Bernie, Jun 18, 2004
  20. Harsha Raghavan

    Bernie Guest

    No, no Tom. A person with a doctorate in Mathematics is not a
    mathematician since the diploma doesn't have the letters
    M-A-T-H-E-M-A-T-I-C-I-A-N on it in that order. Forget what the term
    mathematician means, we don't want to be bothered with reality.

    Likewise, a physicist is not really a physicist, a psychologist a
    psychologist, etc. all because those combinations of letters are not
    explicitly printed on the diploma. Don't you see that?!?!?

    Bernie, Jun 19, 2004
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